Today (Thursday) should have seen the 63 Commandos pick-up training after the heatstroke tragedies of September 3 exercises in Alcochete (click here).
But instead, 17 recruits quit their dreams to join Portugal’s elite force – and returned to their former units.
Diário de Notícias explains that “one officer, four sergeants and 12 privates” decided against rejoining the group that has seen two young members die and at least nine receiving treatment in hospital after gruelling exercises in temperatures of over 40ºC.
With two men still ‘recovering slowly’ in Lisbon’s army hospital, a source for the army has explained that today’s “no shows” came from personal choice: the men themselves asked to be excused from the course.
An internal inquiry into exactly why so many soldiers were taken so dramatically ill on September 3 is still underway, as is another probe headed by the military’s judicial police.
DN stresses that until the results of both investigations, all further Commando training courses have been suspended (click here).